A quote I really like is ‘Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.’
As stubborn as we were, we missed our goal by 5 days. Were we not stubborn enough or did our flexibility let us down? That is for us to decide. But success is a product of failures and our failure to meet a recent internal goal has influenced this post.
The following management lessons can help in managing a project with greater efficiency –
Start With A Vision And Work With A Plan
Before putting pen to paper, begin with a vision. For example, if you are designing a product, envision it in fine details. Imagine its looks, its feel, its use, and even its colors.
Once the project leaders can clearly visualize the end product and agree upon it, a thorough plan should be prepared to break the vision into phases, tasks, and responsibilities.
This will involve separating big rocks from the small rocks and it will help in resource planning and creating milestones.
Decide The Decision-Making Process
I can bet that we are all guilty of having spent our precious time in meetings that we have walked out of without making any real decisions.
How are decisions taken in your group or organization? Is it through a diplomatic process where everyone involved gets to vote and the majority wins? Or does the decision ultimately rest in the hands of a leader or influencer?
It is best that the decision-making process is decided upon by a group before starting discussions on any project.
Repeat After Me: “Actionable And Deliverables”
Speaking of meetings – have you ever felt that they are a waste of time? They sure can be if you don’t walk out of a meeting with actionable and deliverables.
All too often, we get into a meeting room and rant about various topics on the agenda. After the meeting, people walk off with a deeper understanding of issues at hand and possible solutions.
However, if you do not summarize the meeting and break it down into actionable and deliverables, there is a high probability that you will find yourself in the same meeting room again and experience a déjà vu moment.
Share Your Progress Periodically
Project management pro’s ensure that everyone knows what is to be done and who is in charge of what. Everyone takes ownership of their responsibilities and boom, everyone delivers as expected. Right?
Let me remind you – we lost Atlantis (if it ever existed) a long time ago. Reality is, things often fall through the cracks. It is critical that progress reports are discussed periodically to ensure that the planned milestones are being achieved in a timely manner and no stone is left unturned.
Don’t Worry About Getting It Right, Get It Done
Geoffrey Fisher said – ‘When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target’. In the real world, it is less valuable to get it right than it is to get it done. Silicon Valley is known to prophecies the concept of a ‘minimum viable product’ and it works in many cases.
The viability of that concept can vary from project to project of course. I mean, don’t launch a car knowing that it runs but without being sure that all components are working properly. Otherwise, you’ll just end up having to go through a very expensive product recall like Ford, Honda, Toyota, and GM.
But in many cases, getting it done can be better than getting it right.
“Today, if you look at most of our patients, we didn’t have to go out and look for them. They contacted us, because they found us in the top positions of search results for all of our primary keywords and landed our website,” – Peter Balogh, Dentist and Owner of the Vancouver Centre for Cosmetic Implant Dentistry.
By investing in online marketing and focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing, VCCID transformed its formerly bare-bones site into a tool to leverage business and drive qualified leads.
Learn how this dental company was able to dramatically increase dental inbound leads by 205% and organic traffic by 1500% over two years.
Three years ago, we were introduced to the owner of VCCID based out of Metrotown in Burnaby. The practice has been around since 1991 and specializes in cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.
Dr. Balogh was looking to grow the online presence of his dental practice. He understood that more and more people were going online and conducting their dental research online before they stepped into his office.
They wanted to invest in extending the reach of their knowledge, service and brand.
This was done 100% through SEO and content development. Before we dive in, allow me to clarify a few things:
The website’s organic traffic grew over 1,500% in two years.
Dental leads increased by 205%.
This was a new domain, registered just a couple months before launch. (previous domain was redirected to vccid.com)
We did not focus on link building at all, but rather focused on-site optimization and developing effective site content
What VCCID wanted, was to have the independence to alter their website easily and implement a marketing plan that would give them clear results.
Before starting their engagement with us, VCCID relied mostly on print advertising and Pay-Per-Click ads. Their website was outdated and hosted by an external provider. So it was quite difficult to make changes to their site to keep it up-to-date. They wanted to implement an SEO plan, but making changes to the website was challenging since we had no control of the backend.
And Worst Of All…
Dr. Balogh’s industry was getting crowded (with more than 15 clinics and practitioners located within a 100 meter radius of his own clinic.
Step 1. Update And Optimize The Site
VCCID had an outdated website. Several measures were put in place to optimize VCCID’s site. The updated site was built on a custom built framework, which allowed the site to be responsive, visually attractive and easy for a consumer to navigate.
Building A Keyword Database
Dr. Balogh’s primary goals were to increase appointment requests and to target more lucrative cosmetic dentistry services specifically dental implants. Based on these goals, we developed a search engine strategy to optimize Dr. Balogh’s site for higher visibility for related keywords.
The main idea here was leave no stone un-turned. We first went through all of our target search verticals, as dictated by the market categories. From here, we began what started out as an in-depth process of evaluating the opportunities for each keyword and grew to compiling opportunities to distinguish which categories we needed to focus on to grow traffic.
The next step was to identify the highest valuable search volume terms and track results.
To accomplish our goals, changes were also made to the site’s copy to improve the quality of information. More images and better images were added to the site, giving interested visitors an immediate visual point into what VCCID can do and the quality of work they provide for their patients.
Special efforts were taken to fully explain in detail all of the services VCCID provided so that the site had a better chance of showing up in search results.
Over the span of three years we have been able to attain the top position in Google for the most valuable and profitable keywords for VCCID. The payoff to our approach was well worth the time and effort.
Step 2. Citations, Citations, Citations
The obstacle that we had to overcome in this case, was to find each instance of the previous Business Name, Address, and Phone Number and focus on cleaning them up because having consistent and correct citations is mandatory for any successful local SEO Campaign.
Overall, there are 3 types of citations we’re trying to fix during this process. These include:
Duplicates – Duplicate listings on the same directory
Mismatches – Listings for your business that have the wrong Business Name, Physical Address, or Phone Number (or just the 1-800 number and no local number). This can get especially complicated for doctors and lawyers.
Incomplete Citations – It’s important that you fill out the profiles to completion once you’ve claimed them. This includes adding photo and filling out every field there is an option for.
There are hundreds of places where VCCID’s previous business name was mentioned and by cleaning and updating everyone, we were able to accomplish our goal and improve local rankings in Vancouver and Burnaby.
Step 3. Designing A Content Strategy
The key to success in this project boiled down to becoming obsessed with Dr. Balogh’s customers because effective content marketing is based around great understanding of his audience.
Like any great content marketing campaign, our optimization strategy was dictated by our campaign goals. Our goals were pretty straight-forward, such as increase rankings to gain traffic, and increase conversions so we can grow VCCID’s revenue.
We not only embarked on an aggressive content schedule, but we constantly monitored the effectiveness of our campaign and made the adjustments necessary to reach our goals.
Creating Meaningful Content
Each piece of content we created had specific goals.
The content needed to:
Reflect VCCID’s goals and user’s needs.
Communicate to people in a way that they understand
Stay up-to-date and remain factual
Be able to be found
In short, we wanted to answer as many questions people had with in-depth, relevant and useful content that would set us apart from every competitor.
Did digital marketing give VCCID the trackable results they were looking for?
Absolutely! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there were clear metrics that we defined and tracked. We were able to demonstrate clear growth in traffic and leads figures, as a result of our efforts.
It’s clear that every campaign starts with goals and objectives. Then, you create a strategy to achieve those and within that strategy, there are set tactics that you must employ. At every step of our engagement, we did just that and the results are clear. Not only does he rank #1 or near #1 for every high-revenue keyword in his core services but he’s gaining traction quickly in related keywords.
Got questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll respond!